Yes, the West has blood on its hands, the blood of millions of people, because it has betrayed its values and trampled on its principles for materialistic, political and economical interests.
Twenty years ago I wrote an article entitled “Europe, take care lest you lose your soul.” Today it is already happening. The West is on the verge of losing its soul, of losing what made it the bearer of culture, of civilization, of humanism, of spiritual values.
What has made the West a beacon to the world, what has produced the humanism of the Renaissance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is now slowly dying before our very eyes. What gave us Michelangelo, Pascal, Einstein, Beethoven, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln… and so many other geniuses is heading for extinction.
The West is betraying itself, selling itself, polluting itself for money, for oil, for gas, for dollars, for euros.
My mentor, Jesus, once said, « What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and lose his soul? »
When a civilization loses its soul, it can only disappear, collapse, disintegrate. That’s what’s happening before our very eyes.
A disillusioned Frenchman told me recently, “France is dying; France is dead.” If the West does not come to its senses, if it does not rediscover its foundational values, both humanist and spiritual, it’s all over.
The West will fall just as the great empires of the past have fallen. By betraying its values, the West condemns itself to death. All this is not apparent yet, but the worm is already in the fruit. Its innards are already rotting away. One day this magnificent construction that is western civilization will sink under its own weight.
When the human person is no longer at the center of a civilization, that civilization, healthy as it may seem, is condemned to disappear in all too short a time.
Today the human being has lost any value. A hundred dead, a thousand dead, ten thousand dead, it matters little. What matters is territorial conquest, the access to deposits of gas and oil.
Today we speak of one-hundred fifty thousands dead in Syria. Yesterday of one million in Iraq. The day before of two million in Sudan. None of that matters.
The West has blood on its hands, and instead of mending its ways, returning to reason, examining its conscience, it continues to pursue its murderous and suicidal policies.
No matter what the price, the West has decided to put its grasp on the Middle East, that accursed region where black gold gushes. The only thing that matters is its geo-political interests. But where does man fit in all that ? He matters so very little.
The most urgent task today is to rediscover the meaning of Man, to return him to his central place in our vision of the world, to reconsider our politics, our economies, our strategies as they relate to the human person.
In the aftermath of the Second World War with its 80 million dead, Europe was struck with disbelief. People asked themselves how all this could have happened, what kind of devil had possessed it, what murderous madness had taken hold of it?
Germany then latched on to the movement of Moral Rearmament in order to eradicate evil at its very roots. Rather than shedding crocodile tears over its failings and its tragedy, Germany understood that it was in a moral reappraisal, a spiritual revival, a soul awakening that a solution could be found.
This is exactly what we need today. Will the West rediscover its humanistic and spiritual roots? Will it even begin to doubt itself? Will it know how to make a revolution, following the example of Egypt that, hopefully, has opened a new pathway?
When a people feel they have been deceived by their leaders, cheated by those elected by them « democratically, » those leaders lose all legitimacy and deserve to be overthrown and condemned for treason.
It is high time to come out of our apathy, to launch a resistance, to take to the streets by the thousands and the millions, to cry out our anger, to explode with indignation.
It is high time to unmask the hypocrisy of the media and those who manipulate the news. It is high time to denounce the mafias, the giants of the financial world, the corrupt politicians…
It is high time to shed light, to cry out the truth, to fight for law and justice.
Our world is sick. Let’s wake up. The clock is ticking.
Henri Boulad, S.J.
Speech given in the Capitol, Washington,
At the Fifth Coptic Solidarity annual Conference
June 26, 2014